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Descriptions of New Sessions


A-1 (F, 3:30pm-4:15pm) - All Levels
The Challenge of Decoding, Encoding, and Understanding the Message: A National Security Challenge

Shuckran Kamal (Vienna, Virginia), senior Arabic translator, Office of Language Services, U.S. Department of State

The challenge our leaders are facing in their efforts to safeguard our nation and its security is multi-dimensional. The services provided by bilingual English-Arabic speakers (native speakers of Arabic and native speakers of English) to assist in that task are also multi-dimensional. Regrettably, the scope, variety, and multiple proficiency levels of those who provide these services are not universally well understood or appreciated. This presentation will attempt to focus on current observed deficiencies among native speakers of Arabic and native speakers of English who relay to our leaders in English a variety of different messages in Arabic. It will also attempt to propose short-term, as well as long-term, remedies to correct those deficiencies.

NEW A-2 (S, 10:15am-11:45am) - ALL
Part I—How Do I Learn to Translate Arabic?

Jackie Murgida (Alexandria, Virginia), director, Cross-Language Processes Division, JTG, Inc.

This presentation will address the hurdles faced by people who need training in translation between Arabic and English in the U.S. The current situation is dire, with no regularly offered academic courses and few workshops or summer courses available. Aspiring translators have to seek out mentors, on-the-job training, or overseas courses. We will ask the audience to contribute ideas on how to self-train and what an ideal Arabic<>English translation curriculum would include.

Part II—The Current State of Arab Dictionaries: Great Riches Amidst Poverty
Ronald Wolfe (Deale, Maryland), director, Concepts and Strategies Division, JTG, Inc.

The Arabic>English translator is faced with bookshelves full of "dictionaries" that may have to be purchased if he or she is considering making a career in this field. What should an aspiring translator be looking for in an Arabic dictionary? What are the essential titles that are "must haves" for every translator? This session will address these questions and others related to becoming a professional Arabic translator.

Part III—Software Translation of Arabic Text
Tim Gregory (Alexandria, Virginia), Arabic<>English translator, Titan Systems

This presentation will evaluate how DéjàVu, SDLX, Trados, and Wordfast handle Arabic text from Microsoft word documents. The speaker will give an overview of the user experience from installation through database configuration and first use. This presentation is based on the speaker's article posted at Live product demos will be added if time allows.

Agencies, Bureaus, and Companies

ABC-15 (T, 4:15pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Towards the Elimination of Translation Error in Europe and the U.S.
Elizabeth Abraham Gomez (Toronto, Canada), Your Mother Tongue Inc.

Translation error has two principal roots: 1) the translator is working into a second language, rather than into his/her mother tongue, and 2) the mother-tongue translator misinterprets the source text. Traditionally, the editor of the translation has the same mother tongue as the translator and is therefore susceptible to the same misinterpretation of the original. A mother-tongue translator is essential for avoiding the first principle source of translation error. A source-language editor, or “back-translator,” is required to avoid the second. The role of the source-language editor is to ensure that the translator properly interpreted the original, and to check for omissions. Refining the final draft is left to the proofreader, a native speaker of the target language. This three-person “dream team” substantially reduces the margin of error in translation practice.

ABC-16 (F, 1:45pm-3:15pm) - All Levels
Translation Quality: The UNI EN ISO 9001 Standard, Quality Certification, CAT, the Relationship Among Italian/European Translation Companies, and Other Matters
Mirko Silvestrini (Vicenza, Italy), Rapitrad, member, Italian National Board of Translation Companies

ABC-17 (S, 3:30pm-4:15pm) - All Levels
Putting Your Faith in In-house Teams - Going Against the Trend
Richard Gray, (London, England), owner, Richard Gray Financial Translations

The translation industry is a modern-day cottage industry, driven by armies of largely anonymous freelancers. Does this model deliver the best results? And is it necessarily the best one for industry's long-term well-being? Would you expect a law firm to outsource your legal affairs to a freelancer based in New Zealand? New technologies have played a large part in shaping this structure, but different technologies and new trends may be favoring an in-house model. In this presentation, the speaker will argue the case for an in-house model based on in-house knowledge-sharing, transparent operations for clients, and a professional commitment to in-house staff.

ABC-18 (S, 4:15pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Stranger in a Strange Land
Reimer Vandervlugt (Zurich, Switzerland), APICS-certified production and inventory manager

Can industrial concepts of manufacturing management and process optimization be applied to a translation business? In this presentation, an experienced operations manager, coming from the manufacturing industry, will discuss how such concepts apply and are implemented in his new job with a multilingual communications provider.

Independent Contractors

IC-7 (S, 3:30pm-4:15pm) - All Levels
Claims Against Translators: What Are They and How Can They Be Prevented, Mitigated, and Defended?  
Martin M. Ween, (New York City), Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman, and Dicker, LLP, counsel for the ATA Errors and Omissions Program


I-16 (T, 4:15pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Coming to Terms
Laura E. Wolfson (New York City), RussianÕEnglish interpreter and translator

In a presentation that is more of a literary reading than a conference paper, the author of the popular Miss Interpreter Speaks column will read extracts from a lively and thought-provoking work in progress. Highlights will include meditative and humorous passages on the pleasures and frustrations of working as an interpreter, and on language study. The presenter will share her evolving relationship with particularly puzzling and intriguing words and expressions in her working languages and will discuss how they have served as milestones on an unending journey toward greater cultural understanding.

I-17 (S, 2:30pm-3:15pm) - All Levels
A Comparative Analysis of the Professionalization of Community Interpreting
Cynthia Miguélez (Alicante, Spain), Universidad de Alicante

Community Interpreting is the fastest growing and most socially significant type of interpreting in the world today. A quick perusal of specialized journals and collections of essays shows the increasing importance being given to this developing field of professional practice.  Given the well-documented need for community interpreters, it is disturbing that those who work in this field have not yet truly gained professional status. Professional status derives from the clear perception on the part of both the practitioners and “consumers” of community interpreting services of the unique skills and preparation needed to ensure the quality in interpreting. Quality interpreting is what community settings require, and that quality depends on appropriate training, working conditions, compensation, and quality control methods. These and other issues related to “professionalization” will be explored in this presentation using a comparative approach that focuses on the current practices in several European countries (England, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Spain, Belgium) and the United States. The purpose will be to see how several countries are approaching the issue of professionalization, what steps have been taken, the degree of success which has been achieved, and what still remains to be done.

I-17 (S, 8:30am-10:00am) - ALL
Interpretation Equipment: A Demonstration and Training

Frederick Baysinger, director, Conference Services and Equipment, ASET International Services Corporation; and H. Randall Morgan, Jr., co-founder, chairman, and CEO of ASET International Services Corporation

In order to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and enhance their revenue, interpreters are becoming increasingly proficient with interpretation equipment and leveraging relationships with equipment providers. Join us for a hands-on demonstration of state-of-the-art simultaneous interpretation technology. This session will provide an overview and training on the various types of systems available on the market, including an in-depth discussion of Philips, Williams Sound, and Listen products, among others. Touch, feel, and program interpreter consoles, transmitters, receivers, infrared radiators, microphones, and various styles of headsets. Attendees will also be able to try out different types of interpreter booths, including the portable tabletop booth and the deluxe Audiopack Interpretation Booth.


L-16 (F, 4:15pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Challenges of Translating Ideological Texts

Guadalupe Ruiz Yepes (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), associate lecturer (German and technical translation), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Presenting Language: German

This presentation focuses on the difficulties encountered in translating texts with an ideological charge. In our analysis of a bilingual corpus of texts (German-Spanish) we want to show which linguistic tools each language uses to express ideology. Next, we will use the results of the analysis to find out what factors the translator has to take into consideration in translating these kinds of texts. Last, but not least, the presentation will touch upon teaching the translation of these texts, showing a few exercises to do in class with the students.


N-2 (T, 3:30pm-5:00pm) Greenbriar - ALL
Easy Readers-Translation Within One Languag
Robert George Dewsnap (Soelvesborg, Sweden), freelance medical translator
Nordic Division Invited Speaker

The Easy Readers are adapted versions of well-known literary works, such as John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. The process of adaptation consists in rewording the vocabulary and simplifying the sentence structure, as well as transmuting some of the more difficult passages of the original into illustrations. The speaker has authored or revised thirty of the English Easy Readers and will give an account of the work involved and discuss how the Easy Readers first came into being in the darkest days of World War II as a link in the European resistance to Hitler's dictatorship.

Science and Technology

ST-9 (S, 1:45pm-2:30pm) - All Levels
A Translator's Computer Tool Box for the 21st Century
Jost Zetzsche (Winchester Bay, Oregon), ATA-accredited (EnglishÕGerman) translator and localization consultant, and co-founder, International Writers’ Group

As recently as 1999, a presentation entitled "Tools & Technology: Friend or Foe" appeared at the ATA. Today, hardly any translator would disagree that the greatest of all technical translation tools, the computer, is essential to our translation work; however, many translators still only use a fraction of the power that the computer offers. This session will give an overview of very basic techniques, such as employing Windows more effectively, and more complex issues, such as working with powerful DTP and CAT applications and many helpful computer utilities. The session will be based on the presenter's upcoming publication on the same topic.

Slavic Languages

SL-9 (T, 3:30pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Slavic Game Show: Double Jeopardy
Larissa Kulinich (Kirkland, Washington), freelance translator and interpreter, and instructor (English and Russian); and Steve Shabad (Ossining, New York), freelance Russian>English translator

In keeping with the format of a "game show," this session will continue the Slavic Languages Division's tradition of holding a workshop on the RussianÖEnglish translation of idioms, sayings, and other challenging terms. Everybody is invited to take part in this fun event.


S-14 (F, 2:45pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
How to Translate for the Healthcare Consumer 
Maria A. Cornelio (New York City), director, Hispanic Research and Recruitment Center, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

What do we need to keep in mind when translating documents for the consumer of healthcare services? Knowledge of medical terminology is important, but other features that are just as crucial tend to receive less attention. This session addresses frequently overlooked issues such as: taking into account audience literacy levels; how register and format affect comprehension; why it is important to know the purpose of the translation; and the impact of government regulations. The focus will be on the criteria used by major hospitals and research institutions in reviewing translations intended for their patient populations.

Training and Pedagogy

TP-13 (T, 3:30pm-4:15pm) - All Levels
The GREVIS Project: Not to Revise or Courting Calamity
Louise Brunette (Binghamton, New York), instructor, translation and translation studies, Concordia University; and Jonathan Hine (Charlottesville, Virginia), translator and instructor of technical translation, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Increasing productivity is an objective for every translation services or MLV manager. At one time, skipping the revision phase of the translation process was seen as one of the means towards this objective. For example, the largest employer of translators in Canada, the Federal Government, conveniently created a new job description called the “Autonomous Translator” for experienced translators who do not need revision. For revision specialists, there are many reasons to suspect that self-revision was not the best way to increase productivity. This presentation will discuss a study on monolingual revision of specialized texts compared to bilingual revision and will explain the methodology used, the geographical areas where this study was conducted, and the kinds of texts GREVIS worked on. Most importantly, this presentation will reveal the findings of the GREVIS research and propose new avenues of revision research.

TP-14 (F, 2:30pm-3:15pm) - All Levels
Translation Training On-line
Regina Alfarano (São Paulo, Brazil), instructor, New York University online programs, and editor, Tradução & Comunicação; and Milena Savova (New York City), director, Center for Foreign Languages and Translation, New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies

On-line education is accompanied by a great deal of enthusiasm as well as certain skepticism and fear. Translation is an area that lends itself easily to teaching on-line. On-line instruction offers enormous opportunities to people who do not live near a university or another training center. The Internet has become an everyday mode of communication for many people around the world. It seems that it is a small step from being an Internet user to becoming an on-line student or teacher. While it is a small step indeed, it also has specifics that set it apart from daily Internet and email use. This presentation focuses on technical and pedagogical aspects of on-line translator training based on the three-year experience of the translation studies program of New York University. The presenters go through the process of creating a course, teaching and learning in a new environment, communication and establishing relationships, and outcomes. The presentation includes a live Internet demonstration of currently offered on-line translation courses.